New research reveals this painful condition sets in sooner than you may think… Here’s how to stop it with three simple steps
Among the many, many complications diabetics face, neuropathy is one of the most dreaded.
What begins as a nuisance—numbness and tingling in the extremities—can have serious ramifications if you don’t nip it in the bud. And according to recent research, the time to address it is before diabetes actually sets in.
Neuropathy can rear its head at the first signs of high blood sugar—well before it advances to diabetes. And it turns out that’s even more of a problem than it appears on the surface.
A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine finds that people with prediabetes are suffering neuropathy’s insidious nerve damage to a much greater extent than we previously thought.
Sixty-two people, including 52 with neuropathy in the hands and feet, took part in the study. Thirteen of the participants had blood sugar levels that were high enough to earn them a diagnosis of pre-diabetes (fasting blood sugar levels of 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl), but not high enough to be considered full-blown diabetic (fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dl or higher).
The researchers checked in on the participants for three years, and they found that the nerve damage the pre-diabetics were suffering was far more extensive than previously realized.
Instead of just experiencing damage on the longest ends of the small sensory nerve fibers, which would have indicated beginning-stage damage, the pre-diabetics had damage running the entire length of the nerve fibers.
And that’s alarming, because small-fiber neuropathy is just a harbinger of more severe damage to come. It signals the start of nerve deterioration that will, over time, damage other nerve fibers and have serious quality-of-life ramifications.
Sugar unleashes a deadly domino effect
Once neuropathy progresses, it can injure or destroy nerve fibers in various parts of the body. The results range from pain, numbness, and sensitivity—sometimes so severe that even a bedsheet causes unbearable pain—to more systemic issues. Those include problems with digestion, heart health, the urinary tract, and sexual function.
For some people, the symptoms never become more than a bother. For others, they can be devastating. Neuropathy can become so bad that it leads to disability, amputation, and even death.
And this nerve damage is a direct result of unchecked high blood sugar.
It’s hard to believe that sugar can have such horrible consequences. But it does. Nerve fibers are delicate, and subjecting them to high blood sugar damages them beyond repair.
Sugar impedes the nerves’ ability to transmit signals while at the same time weakening the lining of small blood vessels. And healthy small blood vessels are essential for supplying nerves with the oxygen and nutrients they need.
The worse your blood sugar control—and the longer it’s been out of balance—the worse the damage. And now that we know the damage starts right out of the gate, it’s even more important to take control of your blood sugar today.
In addition, being overweight increases your risk of developing diabetic neuropathy. But the good news is that the same steps you need to take to manage your blood sugar will help you shed those extra pounds as well.
Regaining control of your blood sugar
Unfortunately, most people with diabetes and pre-diabetes are never taught how to restore their bodies’ healthy blood sugar balance. Instead they’re prescribed drugs that not only don’t get to the root of the problem, they also present their own set of dangers and side effects.
What’s worse, when conventional doctors do give diet advice, it’s painfully outdated. I’ve heard of diabetics being told to lose weight by avoiding fat. We’ve known for years that eating fat is not what makes people fat, and yet they’re still peddling the same tired—and completely ineffective—advice.
The truth is, your body is programmed to keep blood sugar levels in check, without the help of drugs or manufactured foods. And after decades of research and practice, I’ve developed a plan that I use with my patients to reprogram their bodies to do just that.
My technique is all natural, totally safe, and scientifically proven. And with it, I’ve reversed hundreds of cases of both prediabetes and diabetes. That means hundreds of people who have slammed the brakes on the devastating effects of high blood sugar—including neuropathy.
As happy as I am with those successes, my ultimate goal is to get this information into the hands of as many people as possible. That’s why I write these articles, and why I speak at conferences to teach other healthcare practitioners. But the full scope of the program is beyond what I can fit into a newsletter or an hour-long presentation.
That’s why I worked with technology experts to develop my comprehensive, step-by-step program into a tool that is available to everyone—regardless of location. My complete Metabolic Repair Protocol is presented in an interactive online format, but it’s the exact same time-tested plan I use with my own patients.
I’ve seen this program work even with the most stubborn cases of prediabetes, diabetes, and obesity. People who have been trying for years to get their conditions under control but are on a constant rollercoaster of ups and downs—in blood sugar and pounds. Who know that they need to do something to stop the ride before it takes them to devastating health effects like neuropathy.
But then they follow my Metabolic Repair Protocol. And within a matter of weeks, they’re off the rollercoaster. Their blood sugar is under control, they’re losing weight, and they are feeling the best they have in years. And all of it without a single drug.
If you’re ready to slam the brakes on neuropathy—and all the other damaging health effects of high blood sugar—I urge you to do what hundreds of my patients have done and start the Metabolic Repair Protocol today. You can learn more about this protocol, or enroll today, by clicking here or calling 866-747-9421 and asking for order code EOV3T200.
And while you’re working to get your blood sugar under control, you can take some specific steps to stop neuropathy in its tracks. Even if you don’t have diabetes, and are just starting to feel the occasional tingle or loss of sensation.
The first way to do that is with two supplements that have been shown to curb the effects of neuropathy.
- Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is known to stem the formation of reactive oxygen species and reduce the burning and pain associated with neuropathy. Most studies on ALA have used high doses delivered intravenously, so it’s hard to specify an oral dose that would be effective. However, some studies had good results with dosages of 600 to 800 mg daily.
- And benfotiamine (150 mg/day) helps prevent damage to blood vessels.
Speaking of protecting your blood vessels…
I want to make one final point here, and it’s about the blood vessel damage I mentioned earlier. While nerve damage is definitely a cause for major concern, the harm that high blood sugar causes to blood vessels may be even more worrying.
As I’ve explained before, the microcirculatory system, made up of the miniscule blood vessels and capillaries that feed your veins and arteries, may be the most important part of your cardiovascular system. Science is finally starting to reveal just what a critical role this intricate system plays in every aspect of health.
When the microcirculatory system isn’t functioning at its best, it means blood (and therefore oxygen) isn’t getting to your organs. And without adequate blood flow, your organs can’t do their jobs.
Some researchers think the crippling pain of neuropathy isn’t actually a result of nerve damage, but instead of blood vessel damage. Maybe it’s a combination of the two. But in any case, it’s essential to support your microcirculatory system if you want to halt the damage caused by neuropathy. And it’s important to do it now, before permanent damage takes hold.
How do you know if your microcirculatory system isn’t firing on all cylinders? Here are some telltale signs:
- Cold hands and feet
- Feeling cold all the time
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Blurred vision
- Skin bruising that doesn’t heal quickly
- Frequent urination
- Leg and/or toe cramping
Some of these symptoms go hand-in-hand with neuropathy, so while taking the steps I already outlined above to address that, you also need to make sure you’re taking care of your blood vessels and capillaries as well.
There are a few supplements I consider “must-haves” for healthy blood vessels. At the top of the list is resveratrol (500 mg), which keeps blood vessels open for business and blood flowing smoothly. Other supplements I recommend include diosmin (250 mg) and hesperidin (25 mg), panax notoginseng, and turmeric (250 mg).
Perhaps the most important, though, is Pycnogenol®. This French pine bark extract has been the subject of hundreds of studies proving its efficacy in reducing blood sugar and improving cardiovascular health. One of the ways it helps the vascular system is by replenishing the body’s stores of collagen and elastin, both key in maintaining the health of blood vessels. I recommend 100 to 200 mg per day for my diabetic patients.
I can’t overstress the importance of taking control of both your microcirculation and your blood sugar. There are so many reasons to do it, and neuropathy is one of the big ones. And now we know there’s no time to delay.
But if you follow the three-pronged approach I outlined here—restore your body’s ability to control blood sugar, prevent nerve damage, and support your microcirculatory system—you can slam the brakes on neuropathy before it takes hold.
“Longitudinal assessment of small fiber neuropathy: evidence of a non-length-dependent distal axonopathy.” JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(6):684-690.
“Differential efficacy of methylcobalamin and alpha-lipoic acid treatment on negative and positive symptoms of (type 2) diabetic peripheral neuropathy.” Minerva Endocrinol. 2016 Nov 30. [Epub ahead of print]